20 Sep :Aiming to tap the vast potential in the export of Ayurvedic products and create a Kerala brand, an ayurveda consortium will soon begin work to set up various facilities at Koratty in Thrissur with the Rs 10 crore sanctioned by the Union government.
CARE-Keralam, the Confederation of Ayurvedic Renaissance Keralam Ltd, a joint venture between the government of India, Kerala government and ayurvedic industries, will provide common facilities for ayurvedic products manufacturers on five acres of land at the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) Industries Park at Koratty.
The foundation stone laying ceremony for the facilities is expected to be held in a month’s time.These facilities include a raw material supply centre, pilot plants, uniform packaging facility, quality control laboratory and a research and development unit, industries minister Elamaram Kareem told reporters. It will take about two years to set up various labs and other facilities.
The total project cost is Rs 17.88 crore, of which the Centre has sanctioned Rs 10 crore. The balance will be contributed by KINFRA and industry associations."This will be developed under the PPP model and is the first in India for the Ayurveda sector. It will provide employment to about 20,000 persons in phases," he said.
The project has been approved by the Department of Ayush, Government of India under the Scheme for Development of AYUSH clusters, he said.The present bane of ayurveda is presence of spurious and invalidated products. India had received a heavy blow a few years ago, with the US rejecting some products.
Standardising and benchmark parameters would be provided at the labs being set up by the consortium, CARe-Keralam Chairman, P R Krishna Kumar, who is also the Managing Director of the Kerala Ayurveda Pharmacy, Coimbatore, said.
The world herbal industry turnover is worth USD 70 to 80 billion annually, of which India’s share is only Rs 440 crore. "Our aim is to have at least 25 per cent of the international market share," Joy Varghese T, Chief Executive Officer of CARe-Keralam told a news agency.
The project envisages a full fledged quality control and research and development lab for herbal and ayurvedic products.
A toxic study centre, a process validation laboratory for upscale operations, a raw material store and mini lab, IT and marketing infrastructure, common facility centre for production and packaging and a herbal nursery are its main components.
Krishnakumar said evaluation of the toxicity and adverse drug reactions of herbal preparations has been a neglected area, as herbs are considered natural products and hence safe.
"This lack of information makes it difficult to compare the benefit risk profile of herbal medicines," he said.
Even if no adverse drug reaction is reported, the long-term toxicity, mutagenicity and genotoxicity studies need to be conducted as they are not clinically evident easily.
There is also a need to integrate traditional medicine into modern medicine practices and this requires clinical validation by conducting controlled clinical trials. It is in this context that a toxicity study centre has been incorporated, Krishnakumar said.
Joy said there was also a proposal to set up a process validation lab to introduce a range of health supplements and drugs for specific ailments, which would find acceptance among people.
The lab will provide R and D facilities to small and medium enterprises, he added.DDINEWS